Canadian Forest Service Publications

Impact of climate change on area burned in Alberta’s boreal forest. 2007. Tymstra, C.; Flannigan, M.D.; Armitage, O.B.; Logan, K.A. International Journal of Wildland Fire 16: 153-160.

Year: 2007

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 26915

Language: English

Availability: Order paper copy (free)

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Eight years of fire weather data from sixteen representative weather stations within the Boreal Forest Natural Region of Alberta were used to compile reference weather streams for low, moderate, high, very high and extreme Fire Weather Index (FWI) conditions. These reference weather streams were adjusted to create daily weather streams for input into Prometheus – the Canadian Wildland Fire Growth Model. Similar fire weather analyses were completed using Canadian Regional Climate Model (CRCM) output for northern Alberta (174 grid cells) to generate FWI class datasets (temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, Fine Fuel Moisture Code, Duff Moisture Code and Drought Code) for 1 ×, 2 × and 3 × CO2 scenarios. The relative differences between the CRCM scenario outputs were then used to adjust the reference weather streams for northern Alberta. Area burned was calculated for 21 fires, fire weather classes and climate change scenarios. The area burned estimates were weighted based on the historical frequency of area burned by FWI class, and then normalized to derive relative area burned estimates for each climate change scenario. The 2 × and 3 × CO2 scenarios resulted in a relative increase in area burned of 12.9 and 29.4% from the reference 1 × CO2 scenario.